MORE than 75% of the available space for the 2012 South African Automotive Week (SAAW) expo in Port Elizabeth has been taken up, with a number of national and international pavilions booked for the event in October.
"There is a lot of international interest in the third SAAW, which is seen as one of the most important meeting places for anyone in the automotive industry who wants to do business in Africa,” SAAW 2012 director Andrew Binning says.
More than 300 exhibitors are expected to be showcasing their products and equipment at the SAAW expo, which is the only dedicated industry showcase in South Africa. Delegations have already been confirmed from Thailand, China, the UK and the US, while individuals from a number of other countries have also registered, according to Binning.
The exhibition website (www.saaw.co.za) is also receiving hits from an average of 25 different countries a week.
Most recent statistics show the biggest interest has come from Germany, Poland, China, Britain, the Philippines, Hungary, India, Italy and Australia.
"This geographic spread shows that Africa is firmly in the sights of international original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), component and parts suppliers,” Binning says.
Inkanyezi Event Organisers, which is responsible for SAAW 2012, estimates this year’s expo and related conferences will attract about 5000 trade visitors and media from across South Africa and the globe.
Special pavilions will showcase the industry in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, the North West, the East London industrial development zone (IDZ) and the Coega IDZ, outside Port Elizabeth.
A 270m² Coega IDZ pavilion will be one of the highlights of the expo, according to Binning. SAAW will also host a number of conferences focusing on key challenges and opportunities in the South African automotive industry.
The main conference, held under the auspices of the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), will see motor industry leaders and strategists from around the country join global experts on the podium and in workshops to plot the way forward for the South African automotive industry.
This year’s SAAW will be held from October 10 to 13 at the Moffett on Main lifestyle centre in Walmer.